Ijen 100: Nakajima takes control & Tanapong scores 2nd win!
A big and very impressive winner at Ijen 100 this year: Job Tanapong of Team Siangpure in Thailand. The 28-year-old youngster , who works as a coffee barista, scored his second ATM points race victory of the 2019 season after Moon 100. It brings his total of Championship points to 1000, and with 2 race victories out of 2 races he does better than John Ellis and Hisashi Kitamura, to name just a few. Job Tanapong will be a serious contender for the ATM Championship victory later this year!
At Ijen 100 nobody was able to match his quick pace. Tanapong finished the 109 km (!) m and 5000 hm in 14:17 without breaking too much sweat, although he admitted the final 20km were tough.
Central Javanese newcomer to the trail scene, Rachmat Septiyanto, who was 4th in Mantra Summits Challenge three weeks ago, scored a sold second place today in 16:50. Septiyanto is still young and certainly talented. Mantra 116 was very technical, Ijen 100 is very runable and he does great in both! Third place went to Thailand as well, with Sukrit Kaewyoun crossing the finish line together with Sri Sritabitha Wahyuni . Another fine race for Sukrit means he will cement his top five ranking in the Championship.
After four points finishes and one DNF, the surprisingly versatile Asuka Nakajima has conquered the top of the Asia Trail Master Championship ranking at the expense of Veronika Vadovicova after her 100k victory in Ijen. Based in Jakarta, the smiling Japanese runner is having a fantastic debut campaign on the trails and has already won three A-races plus a third place. She now totals 2025 ATM Championship points, 45 more than Vadovicova, who has scored four race wins but one was a B-race with fewer points. Suddenly, Nakajima is the benchmark as the women's championship is beginning to heat up! In Bondowoso, Nakajima stayed ahead of an in-form Sri Wahyuni, who scored yet another ATM podium but is still chasing that very first victory. Before the Ijen race, another contender has most chances of grabbing the points lead, but Fredlyn Alberto dropped out of the race with a twisted ankle after around 40 km. Alberto adopted a better safe than sorry approach and did not want to jeopardise the rest of her season. Another strong newcomer in the Asian women’s scene is Thailand’s Wipawee Cartoon. Second behind Vadovicova in Tsaigu 80 last April, Cartoon was an unfortunate DNF while leading Moon 100 after 80 km. At Ijen, she decided to go for the 70k rather than the 100 and smashed that one to grab her first ATM points race victory, albeit the 70K B-race. On the 100, behind Nakajima and Wahyuni there was a nice battle between Montha Suntornwit and Melanie Hingpit, decided in favour of the Thai UTCR 230 winner from last year. Hingpit did lose a lot of time by missing a key marker halfway through the race, though.